Schools Save and Make Money with Solar

While it’s not financially possible for ALL schools to offer the newest…latest…greatest in solar like Sandy Grove Middle School in Hoke County, NC, there are opportunities for solar in each and every school.

By far the most popular way for schools to get involved in solar these days is through long-term power purchase agreements or PPAs.  In essence, the school leases its (most usually) rooftop space to a third party who installs and maintains the system and who in turn sells the power to the local grid.  In some cases, power is also sold back to the school at a reduced rate.

Not too far from Sandy Grove, Warren County High School leases its roof space to Argand Energy Solutions.  Under a 20-year lease agreement, the school was paid $75,000 for the installation and will make $6,000 annually after the first 8 years.  Argand in turn sells the power – enough to power 50 homes — to Progress Energy.

Dublin City School District in Georgia is also starting its school year with a new solar array.  It is expected to save the district $3.5 million over the next 25 years.  In just the first year it is expected to save the district $100,000.

Anacortes Middle School in Washington State has 78 solar panels on its roof.  It leases its rooftop to Skagit County Community Solar Project, a group of investors, who installed and maintain the system.  The school in turn purchases its power from the Project at a reduced cost and little or no money actually exchanges hands.

Schools are saving money with solar all across the country – New York, Maine, Arizona, California and Hawaii.

Do you know a school that is saving or making money with solar?  Please share!

Then come back next Tuesday as we continue to look at solar power in education.


“Dollar House” photo compliments of Salvatore Vuono,